The Opioid Certification Program Receives Primary Sponsorship Grant From Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.

WESTON, Mass., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., one of the country's leading biopharmaceutical companies, has provided an educational grant to become one of the primary sponsors for the Opioid Certification Program being held April 22-23, 2006 in The Conference Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. The Opioid Certification Program is presented by the Opioid Management Society in association with the Journal of Opioid Management.

Under the guidance of Conference Leader, Robert E. Enck, MD, Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, along with a renowned team of specialists, this two-day program is designed to inform primary care physicians, pain specialists, and other opioid prescribers in the uses, abuses, and legal ramifications of these powerful, quality of life-enhancing painkillers.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in San Diego, California, markets AVINZA(R) (morphine sulfate extended-release capsules), an effective once- daily opioid which is gaining significant favor among US pain specialists because of its ability to get patients back to active lifestyles when used to treat chronic moderate-to-severe pain.

"It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Ligand as a major sponsor to our inaugural program," said Conference Leader Enck. "As many people know, we often under-treat chronic and acute pain in this country, and that simply should not be the case. Through proper training and education," continued Enck, "and the combined efforts of all major constituents-including physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and the legal and regulatory world-we can reach the day where opioid prescribers can safely prescribe and responsibly manage these drugs without inviting regulatory scrutiny. This conference, made possible in part by Ligand's generous educational grant, will go a long way to making this day possible."

For more information or to register for the Opioid Certification Program, please visit: For additional information on pain management issues, please log on to:

Opioid Management Society

CONTACT: Richard A. DeVito, Jr., JOM/OMS, 781-899-2702, ext. 107,

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